Florida drops third straight, falls 17-6 at Auburn

By Adam Silverstein
October 15, 2011

Following consecutive blowout losses to two of the nation’s top-three teams, the Florida Gators were expecting to bounce back on the road Saturday evening against the No. 24 Auburn Tigers. Instead of taking a step in the right direction, Florida (4-3, 2-3 SEC) dropped their third-straight Southeastern Conference game, this time 17-6 to Auburn (5-2, 3-1 SEC) after giving up three turnovers including two on special teams.

The Gators started the 2011 season 4-0 and dropped to 4-3 for the second consecutive year after Saturday night’s defeat. UF had not lost three-straight games since 1988 but have now done so in back-to-back seasons.

The miscues started early and occurred often for the road team.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this game story.]Florida and Alabama traded possessions early in the game with Gators freshman quarterback Jacoby Brissett throwing an interception on the second play of the contest and each team punting twice.

On the Tigers’ third punt of the game, UF redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey muffed the catch; the ball was recovered by AU linebacker Daren Bates.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp exploded in anger on the sideline, questioning the referees as to why interference was not called on Auburn.

Three plays later, Gators sophomore defensive tackle Dominique Easley jumped offsides, but Tigers QB Barrett Trotter continued the play and threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeAngelo Benton for the first score of the game.

Down a touchdown, Florida employed F-back Trey Burton behind center and ran the ball on four of five plays to get down to Auburn’s 23-yard-line. UF ended the drive with a 47-yard field goal by redshirt junior kicker Caleb Sturgis to reduce their deficit to 7-3.

The Gators struck again on their next possession. Brissett completed three passes to redshirt junior WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. as part of a 12-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal.

Auburn took over with 2:33 left and drove down to Florida’s 28 but failed to connect on a 45-yard field goal, taking just a one-point lead into the locker rooms.

The Tigers outgained the Gators 80-30 offensively in the first quarter, but UF took over in the second, compiling 76 yards of offense compared to just 22 for AU.

Auburn and Florida began the second half by substituting their quarterbacks. The Tigers sent in second-year player Clint Moseley for Trotter, while the Gators replaced Brissett with fellow freshman Jeff Driskel.

Both teams punted on the first possession of the second half, but Florida freshman punter Kyle Christy dropped his attempt, picked it up and shanked the ball just 18 yards. Auburn K Cody Parkey missed a 42-yard field goal on the ensuing possession, his second failed attempt of the game.

The Gators got the ball back and began driving down the field with Driskel. UF offensive coordinator Charlie Weis called a flea flicker on second-and-one at AU’s 48; though the first part was executed well, Driskel overthrew redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed, who was streaking down the middle of the field.

After another punt each from Florida and Auburn, the Tigers put together the longest scoring drive of the game, a seven-play, 66-yard effort that resulted in a 14-yard rushing touchdown by RB Onterio McCalebb.

The Gators tried to respond with a long drive of their own but stalled on fourth down in the red zone. Sturgis was ruled out with an injury after the half and kicking a field goal was not an option for Florida at the time.

UF punted once again but pushed AU back inside their own five. Auburn ran the ball three times but was stuffed by Florida’s defense and punted from their end zone.

Freshman WR Robert Clark replaced Rainey as punt returner after the latter muffed his first four punts of the evening. Clark did not do any better, letting the Tigers’ punt fall between his arms as he tried to field it.

Auburn recovered with less than three minutes to play and eventually kicked a 42-yard field goal to take an 11-point lead with 35 seconds remaining.

Miscues by the Gators wound up costing them the game. Florida’s three turnovers – two fumbles on special teams and an interception on the second play of the game – resulted in 10 points for the Tigers. Auburn outgained their opponent 278-194 on the evening and made sure to score when it counted.

Tigers RB Michael Dyer led all playmakers with 23 carries for 73 yards. Hammond had 40 yards on four receptions for the Gators, a season-high for a Florida wide receiver.

UF will now have a bye week to try and cure what ails them before heading into the World’s Largest Cocktail Party against Georgia in Jacksonville, FL on Oct. 29. The game will air live on CBS at 3:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Dave Martin/Associated Press[/EXPAND]

13 Comments

  1. g8ter27 says:

    Yep Charlie, you called it..you had Mike G, running wild tonight, great start for him, much more carries…just like you called it coach! WTF?????? I guess all he ever does is get first downs and run north and south so why out him in there? Great use of Debose too! Except for the defense (and Christy minus his dropped snap on the punt), everything else was complete s&%t..especially the coaching.

    Tell you what else I am tired of, all the talk about this guy or that guy transferring if he doesn’t start. They benched Trotter and put in Mosely…so I guess the freshman Frazier is going to bail right? Nope, he doesn’t go to Florida. Why does it always seem that if a guy doesn’t start here the talk of transferring begins…and then half the time they actually do. SOOO pissed right now, I am glad I am out on the west coast to go out and blow off steam since it is only 8 here!

  2. G8trpls says:

    The honeymoon is over. Please find a way to move the ball. Oh and next game just rush 11 on punts, don’t try and catch them, it’s way to difficult.

  3. gatorNsc says:

    the offense in the past 3 games was just as bad as last year……horrible!!!!!WTF!!!!!how can we not catch a punt??????i know i dont know S*** that the coaches know, but im 100% sure i could have done better calling the shots in this game!!!! defense played alright, but GEEZ,, WHERE WAS DEBOSE< GILLISLEE, and others…this SUCKS!!!!!AU is not that good, WE SHOULD HAVE CRUSHED THEM!!! _______ PIS**ed OFF gator fan IN SC!!!!!

  4. Eli says:

    Missing in action: Debose, Reed, Thompson, Gillislee. What do all of these guys have in common? They’re PLAYMAKERS. We are a one-man show on offense because the defense can key in on Rainey now. Poor gameplan, poor blocking schemes for the o-line, and just overall underutilization of talent.

    We have a lot of 4- and 5-star recruits on offense, especially at the skill positions. When are they going to step up? When are they going to get a chance to step up? This really doesn’t seem different from last year—it’s a predictable, inefficient offense. Our defense was STELLAR tonight. Really, really good. I love Christy punting, and we need to figure out something for the return game. But that didn’t lose us the game. It was horrible, but the real problem here is a lack of any form of life offensively.

    Never been more excited to see John Brantley play again..let’s hope a lot of work gets done these next 2 weeks.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      actually,l the return game was primarily whaqt lost us the game. muffed punt for a touchdown muffed punt when we could go in to tie it up at the end from really good field position.

      And where the heck is Mack Brown? Still no sign of him anywhere, not on any injury lists!

  5. aziatic41 says:

    We suck right now. Auburn is not a good team at all. Their quarterback Trotter was trying to give us the game and we didn’t take it. With just an average offensive output we should have been up 21-7 going into halftime. Hopefully when we get Brantley back things will change but I seriously doubt it. Brantley really did nothing significant before his injury. And I’m beginning to think he suffered a fracture in his leg instead of a severe strain but Muschamp is just keeping it a secret like he does with everything else.

    On a positive note the defense played better today. They did a good job containing Dyer but still gave up a huge run to McCaleb in the 4th quarter. We are a wounded team right now. From the coaching staff on down we are wounded. The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. And on paper we are supposed to have one of the best coaching staffs in the country in Weis, Quinn, Bryant, etc. But right now it doesn’t look like it at all. Also our guys seem small and more injury-prone than the other SEC teams. Mariotti, the strength coach, needs to be evaluated in the offseason because are guys don’t look or play physical.

    Another huge problem is we have no “go-to-player” on offense. Every team in the SEC has one except for us. This same problem haunted us last year. I’m sorry but Chris Rainey is not a go-to-player. He is too small! At 170 pounds, thats just not gonna work in the SEC. In the years to come we have to bring in guys who are playmakers on both sides of the ball. When the game is tight we have no one offensive guy who we can get to ball too that can make a play.

    UGA is firing on all cylinders right now. Cromwell is another tough running back we are gonna have to stop. Georgia is very balanced and can move the chains. We are going to have to really play well to win that game. Hopefully we’ll have Brantley, Demps, and Powell back.

    Also Matt Elam played a good game tonight. He played the Gator way. I really wish more of our guys would play like him. Another bitter Saturday night for the Gator Nation..

    • g8ter27 says:

      Yeah I love how Muschamp keeps the injuries a secret…or flat out lies, not sure which one yet but yet allows every player on the team down to the water boy it seems to talk all week long.

  6. John S. says:

    I feel a lot better right now. Granted it was another loss, but if our defense can keep us in games we have a shot in every remaining game this season. We’re missing 30% of our starters right now so keep perspective. Win the rest and we’re in business. Thank you bye week.. Keep improving.

  7. Will W says:

    I am glad we are paying our OC $1.5 million to do a Steve Addazio impersonation. Call me unimpressed with Weis’ use of playmakers.

  8. Gatorgrad79 says:

    We are basically the same team as last year – unable to utilize our talent and clueless as to how to fix it. Definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! (PS – I feel really sorry for Rainey – they are sending him on suicide missions to get the shit beat out of him with no prayer of a good outcome).

  9. scooterp says:

    Terrible! Congrats to the D-line for showing up and Elam and Christy for playing well. Everyone else………. not so much. I do feel better about our frshmen QBs, both seemed more comfortable and capable of leading the team in the future, but you won’t see any of that in a box score. Game management and the absence of player leadership should get thebrunt of the blame for this disaster. Burton seems to be the only one that has a little bit of that “it” factor that you look for in a player, but he is a part time player at 6 different positions. Very disappointing performance from the offensive unit. Hopefully with JB coming back we’ll pick up where we left off in the first half of week 5.

  10. HardToKillGator says:

    Unfortunately, the Gators are playing like what they are.

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